Friends pay tribute to Dale Roberts

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 9:10 PM EDT
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BOONVILLE, New York (WWNY) - A lot of people liked Dale Roberts.

The line to pay their respects stretched down the driveway at Trainor Funeral Home in Boonville Thursday, police and civilians waiting to say their goodbyes.

Roberts, retired senior investigator with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department, died last Sunday at age 69. He had been a patient at Upstate Medical Center for about a month.

“If you had to put an epitaph on his monument, the fitting one to put would be ‘Dale Roberts, investigator, policeman. He loved and served his fellow man,’” said CArl Trainor, president of the funeral home.

Roberts spent more than three decades with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department, working his way up from road patrol officer to senior investigator.

When Roberts retired in 2017, he couldn’t stay away.

So, he teamed up with Deputy Russ Brombacher in parks and recreation enforcement.

“The word iconic comes to mind. It’s so often misused, but not in this case. He made such an impact on the people in the county and the surrounding area. That’s his legacy,” Brombacher said THursday.

Brombacher says he and Roberts became friends in the 1970s, and that made working together years later easy.

It also helped they had a similar approach to the job, which Brombacher summarized as “Treat people the way you’d want to be treated if circumstances were reversed.”

Roberts was a longtime Lewis County resident. He grew up in Talcotville, and the people he met throughout his life helped him find success as senior investigator with the county sheriff’s department.

Excellent at coordinating people. He knew all the people. He grew up around here. Always treated people well,” Brombacher recalled.

Roberts was more than just a police officer.

Friends note his love of the outdoors - and a talent for baking.

“Always donated baked goods to the bake sales around at the fire halls and their events. He was on the Red Cross board up in Watertown. He donated kayaks and different things for their raffles,” Brombacher said.

“He was like a brother.”

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